Challenger Lawrence Pfaff Jr. and incumbents Terry McDaniel and Richard Rudloff, seeking to fill the two Ste. Genevieve R-II Board of Education positions on the April 2 ballot, shared ideas on how to continue to improve the school district during a candidates’ forum at the Ste. Genevieve City Hall on March 20.
McDaniel is a retired teacher and administrator in the R-II district who has served on the board for 18 years.
Rudloff is retired from Mississippi Lime Company and has been on the board for six years.
Pfaff, 42, has three children in the district. The 1995 Ste. Genevieve High School graduate ran for the board six years ago.
The board has had some contentious exchanges with its patrons in recent months, largely centered around the suspension and eventual resignation of an assistant middle school principal who faces felony charges including sexual contact with a student.
“The board has a difficult job and everybody knows the situation that they’ve been through this past year,” said Pfaff, the first to answer a question about the board’s transparency and accountability to its patrons. “The events and information they could give, they have done what they could for the community and everything else.”
He said the board members have not always been able to discuss matters with the public as much as the public might wish due to restrictions.
“The knowledge is not there for the board members or the public itself until everything is completed,” Pfaff said.
McDaniel was succinct with his first answer: “Transparency, according to the law. There’s federal laws, there’s state laws and you’ve got local. You have to be transparent according to the law.”
Rudloff was even more succinct in answering the direct question of whether the candidates thought the board did enough to be transparent and communicate.
“Yes,” he said, then paused before expounding. “If anybody has a question, if they want to know anything, all they have to do is go up and talk to the superintendent, and she will do her best to find out. If she can’t answer your questions, she’ll get back with you. That’s really the thing to do if you have a question about what’s going on, is to ask her because we’re bound by some laws that limit us from doing a lot of stuff. But it’s your school; it belongs to you, so you need to know what’s going on.”
McDaniel added that patrons should not base opinions on “hearsay” and should ask the school administrators for information directly.
See complete story in the March 27 edition of the Herald.